2016.08.05 Last Week in Digital Media

Starting with Facebook there was a release of an update to Instagram featuring “Stories“. Stories feel very much like Snapchat, as you can share as much as you like in/as a story and the story will disappear in 24 hours (not Ghost-away ;-). Stories can be public or private and you can annotate stories with drawings, text, etc. Feature for feature, it’s an exact match with Snapchat, the edge that Instagram has is the roughly 300MM a day active users vs Snapchat’s 150MM users which translates into better marketing results (Nike claims 12x performance of the same story-style content on Instagram vs Snapchat).

Facebook didn’t stop there, they also updated the Facebook News Feed to help stop clickbait. This algorithm tweak effectively measures bounce rate i.e. how quickly you come back to your Newsfeed after clicking a link. For clients, the key takeaway is great headlines are not enough, now Facebook will pay attention to engagement on your content after someone clicks through. Similar in a way to how Google measures search landing pages. If you can take anything away from this, it’s that clients focus on true engagement and, where possible, talk to their internal analytics team to monitor bounce rates on content that they are driving social posts to (or better yet, use it as an opportunity to introduce Society).

Snapchat rumor of the week involves the possible introduction of scannable ads. While the industry has both toyed (and struggled) with scannable ads in the past e.g. QR codes. Snapchat may be better placed than anyone to make this a success given their whole platform is based on taking snaps, down to natively opening to the camera. There are a host of UM clients where the new format would make sense, so if you’re interested I’d recommend reaching out to Snapchat to see if there’s any truth to the rumor and if there is, that you can get in as a beta customer.

Finally, Hulu, the video streaming service always gets less PR than Netflix even though it does have some great shows (I recommend 11.22.63). The big news of the week was that Time Warner has bought 10% of Hulu. The investment is aligned to Hulu’s confirmed strategy of launching a live TV streaming service later in 2016/early 2017. The investment by Time Warner was  all cash – so expect to see Hulu invest this in new content and product offerings in the immediate short-term. All of which is great news for cord cutters and UM clients given Hulu is still the only OTT offering to really offer advertising opportunities.